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FAQs About Ambulatory Care

Hugh Thomas, senior vice president of Ambulatory Care at Rochester General Health System, answers some frequently asked questions about the newest RGHS affiliate. Learn about the impact that Ambulatory Care will have on the way that health care is delivered to our community.

Q: To many, the term "ambulatory care" is unfamiliar. Could you summarize, in a sentence or two, the definition of ambulatory care and the main objective of this affiliate?

A: Generally speaking, ambulatory care can be defined as any care that does not require an overnight hospital stay - the patient can arrive, receive treatment and safely return home that evening. Another common term for ambulatory is "outpatient."

Q: Why has RGHS invested to significantly in ambulatory care?

A: This is the future. The health care industry in America needs to contain costs while improving results and expanding accessibility. Technology is allowing us to provide better services on an outpatient basis. The results speak for themselves - patients want to receive better care in a convenient location and then return home as quickly as possible and because the patient does not need to stay overnight at the hospital, the cost of ambulatory care is significantly less than traditional hospital-based care.

Q: What excites you most about leading the new ambulatory care affiliate?

A: It's exciting to know RGHS is embracing the future of health care. The people who live in our region will reap the benefits as our patients. I am proud to be part of that; it's the kind of positive community change that motivated me to get into health care.

Q: What developments or new services can our community expect to see in 2013?

A: The most significant changes that will occur this year are the opening of our new ambulatory surgery center and the expansion of our dialysis programs with the opening of a new outpatient dialysis center in Webster. In 2013, we will move our Lattimore Surgical Center operation to 360 Linden Oaks Drive, right off of Route 441, where we are currently building a brand new state-of-the-art surgery center that will be connected to the existing medical office building.

Q: What is your long-term vision for this affiliate and its role in the greater scope of RGHS?

A: We are on a multi-year journey to become a highly evolved and integrated ambulatory care network including the development of an integrated suite of ambulatory services at Linden Oaks, which will function in the future as a "hospital without beds." Patients will have an unprecedented level of access to high quality care that is cost effective. Rochester General Ambulatory Care will also continue to integrate with and support other RGHS services such as primary care, acute care, sub-acute care, long-term care and specialty medical services.